Peter Laviolette: ‘It doesn’t make any sense’ for Caps to trade for a goalie

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Matt Weyrich
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Laviolette: ‘Doesn’t make any sense’ for Caps to trade for goalie originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

On the morning of the 2021 NHL trade deadline, Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette expressed confidence in Washington’s young goalie tandem of Ilya Samsonov and Vitek Vanecek. Speaking with 106.7 The Fan’s Sports Junkies on Monday, Laviolette shot down any notion that the Capitals would be trading for a goalie at the 3 p.m. ET deadline.

“Our goaltenders, I think, have played pretty well,” Laviolette said. “I feel like on some nights when we haven’t been successful, it’s more our play in front of the goalies than the goalies themselves. I think there’s always a game or two that a goalie would like to have back through the course of a year but these guys have given us a chance to win games.

“So to go out and try to bring in something equal to what we have, it doesn’t make any sense. These guys are now part of the team, they’ve earned it. We don’t look at them as rookies anymore. They’re a reason why we sit where we sit in the standings and we feel comfortable and confident with the goaltenders who we have here in place.”

The Capitals rank 19th in the NHL allowing 2.95 goals per game. While conventional wisdom suggests going into the playoffs with at least one experienced goalie in tow, the 2018-19 St. Louis Blues proved otherwise when they won the Stanley Cup with rookie Jordan Binnington handling goalie duties. Now, Washington is hoping to do the same with its own young netminders.

Vanecek filled in for Samsonov in January when the latter was placed in COVID-19 protocols. He won NHL Rookie of the Month for his strong play, earning a permanent spot in the goalie rotation even after Samsonov returned.

Samsonov (.894) does have a worrisome save percentage through 14 games. Vanecek is at .913 in 29 games.